Day 12: Lee Vining to Yosemite

We woke up about 30 miles from our destination of Yosemite. Over five hours later we arrived. Tioga Pass is still closed and we had to drive the loooong way all the way around the park to get to it. It was one of those super steep roads, one said “25%” with an illustration of a truck not successfully getting up a steep mountain. I’m don’t know what the road was 25% of, I just know that the front of the car was consistently several feet above sea level than the back. Eventually, we made it through the twists and turns and incline, and to boot, no one got car sick!

Finally we were back in Yosemite. And, golly, do we have a story about this stay at the Majestic Yosemite Lodge. We love the histories of the National Park lodges and always really value to time we spend in one. Last year, we decided that this would be the year to splurge and spend two nights at the Majestic Lodge. Reservations for rooms open up one year and one day ahead of time. One year and one day ago we were backpacking in Chiricahua National Monument and didn’t have access to any sort of internet or wifi. We gave my dad our credit card number, told him we know rooms are expensive, but get the cheapest one you can with two beds. We asked him to log in at 8:00, on the dot, knowing that rooms are sold out within minutes. Then we enjoyed the rest of the Father’s Day hike in Chiricahua.

After backpacking out of the monument and driving quite a distance to Bixby, Arizona, we finally had access to our email. Zak checked his inbox and the vulgarities that flew out of his mouth would get most everyone fired from their job. Sitting in his email was a confirmation to the El Dorado Diggins Suite in the Majestic Yosemite Lodge. At $750 a night. Now, we knew this night was going to to be a splurge, but we were really thinking in the $200-250 range.

After calming down we started to look into this El Dorado Diggins Suite and learned that this room has a very unique history. This room was originally a bar to the elite Yosemite guests in the 20s and 30s and overlooked the historic dining room. At one point it was the chapel and now it houses the only Jacuzzi tub in all of Yosemite. That’s right. The only one.

At that point last year, we weighed our options. The rest of the lodge was already booked for the night, so if we were going to stay at the lodge, we were going to be in the El Dorado Diggins Suite. We really wanted to return to Yosemite, and have a bucket list of hikes we want to conquer here. We decided to, gulp, keep the reservation and only spend one night as a compromise. The day after Father’s Day last year passed, and we didn’t even attempt to make a reservation.

Zak kept his eye on cancelations all year long, but nothing opened up until this spring and at that point the price wasn’t low enough to give up the Jacuzzi. And, trust me, we’re not big Jacuzzi users.

Last September, Zak did convince me that a second night in Yosemite would allow us to accomplish more of the hikes we want to, so we did book one of the last yurts that was available. It’s going to be a hard transition for us to go from this fancy-schmancy room to a hut with canvas walls, but we can’t get too accustomed to the good life.

The room itself is magnificent, a slate entryway, crazy tall ceilings with fancy chandeliers, leather furniture, a raised bedroom that’s on a stage, and a very mediocre Jacuzzi tub. So, dad, thanks for booking us the nicest room we’ll stay in this trip, and we’re staying in seven Kimptons!

Unfortunately, the El Dorado Diggins Suite does not include great wifi, so you’ll have to wait for pictures of the room (and all the other awesome stuff we did today.)

4 thoughts on “Day 12: Lee Vining to Yosemite

  1. We stayed in a Yurt there! Aside from the mouse droppings, and the signs about diseases you can catch from the mouse droppings, and the heater that would get it to 150 degrees and then turn off til it was 20 degrees and then turn back on, and the uncomfortable spring pokey cot mattress, and the crying baby in the yurt behind us, and the angry Bostonian guy who yelled at the crying baby’s mom to go sleep in her f-Ing cah already, it was amazing! You’ll love it.

  2. What fun! Have you read the Nevada Barr mystery that takes place at that lodge (and prominently features the dining room)? Maybe AFTER your stay!

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